It will be an understatement to say that Nigeria’s education system is in a state of crisis. From the angle of history, politics and transformative leadership for nation building, our education system rapes us all of a bright future by producing citizens who are intellectually estranged from their immediate social contexts, their cultural heritage and conceptually dependent on the ‘West’.
Many young Nigerians go through the education system without a critical understanding of the country and continent they come from. Shamefully, Nigerian History is not taught in Nigerian schools anymore. This student described her ignorance of Africa in an exam:
I am like, I know there is a Mozambique somewhere and you know, I think I put Kenya in an awkward place like where South Africa was supposed to go. It was really bad. I remember having a Malaysia there somehow. So my knowledge about Africa was almost at a zero level. I was embarrassed and at the same time, I was like Wow, so this is how I grew up? (Student, African Leadership Academy in Imoka, 2014)
In addition, young Nigerians are sadly, also being socialized into a dangerous lie about themselves: their culture is archaic, barbaric and not constitutive of useful knowledge to build a nation or schools in contemporary society.
As a result, our young leaders are dangerously internalizing and asserting that their culture and language are not worthy of being learnt, developed and preserved. They also grow up as passive actors in the global world – they do not learn about the immeasurable and ongoing contributions of Blacks to the creation of the global world. This is a problematic and unacceptable situation.
For seven days, Unveiling Africa will be taking young Nigerians located around the world on a seven-day virtual personal development and leadership journey where they get to learn to think critically about their identity as nation builders while learning about their culture and giving back to society.
On day 1, young Nigerian leaders will engage their parents to learn about their pre- colonial ethnic history and create a family tree for their records.
On Day 2, young Nigerian leaders will learn about colonial Nigeria and Nigeria’s independence movement. To showcase their learning, they will be invited to reflect on their favourite political actor/actresses and share their findings online.
On day 3, they will lend their voice to the priceless but underappreciated public servants who make our society work. UVA will be inviting youth to honour public servants in their communities with a thoughtful gift of appreciation for their service.
On day 4, youth will be exposed to the different cultural health differences in society such as albinism, sickle cell, physical disability and blindness amongst others. Youth are invited to focus on sickle cell by learning about their genotype and the implications for their life.
Day 5 focuses on youth entrepreneurship. Youth are invited to work individually or as a team to present an entrepreneurial idea that draws from their passion and talent.
Day 6 is about giving back to the community. Youth will be invited to fundraise within their sphere of influence for internally displaced Nigerians. Youth are invited to explore fundraising ideas such as baking, car wash, walks, etc. All the funds raised will be used to support people in the Benin IDPs camps.
The grande finale will be the first gathering of most of the youth participants in the program. At the event, they will share their experience in Days of Change and discuss their role in Nigeria’s nation building process.
In addition to the fact that this is a noble and high initiative, students will receive cash prizes for each of the days.
As parents and teachers, you can get involved in three ways:
1) By inviting youth in your network to sign up here
2) Become a UVA ambassador by hosting a Days of Change Camp in your neighbourhood
3) Sponsor a prize for as little as N5,000
For more information, please feel free to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone at: 09093930198 or 08094266056